Calling All Cars. Picture: Supplied

A decade ago and barely out of their teens, Haydn and James Ing moved from their tiny home town of Tilba, NSW, to the big smoke of Melbourne.

Later this year, the brothers and Calling All Cars bandmate Adam Montgomery plan to relocate to the bigger smoke of London.

The trio head to the UK armed with third album, Raise the People, which will be released in Europe through their recently inked deal with Cooking Vinyl, the diverse London-based label behind everything from Billy Bragg to the Prodigy.

"It's something we always wanted to do," singer/guitarist Haydn Ing says of the shift. "I'd never be able to live my life saying 'What if?' Even if we go over there and fail, at least we tried."

Raise the People is the right album at the right time. The 10-track outing sees Calling All Cars lob a huge dose of pop hooks into their crunchy alt-rock, with traces of Muse and Nine Inch Nails.

While previous albums, 2010's Hold, Hold Fire and 2011's Dancing with a Dead Man, saw the lads write and jam in the studio, this time they demoed the songs on acoustic instruments before heading into the studio.

Current single Standing in the Ocean is one of the biggest pop moments on Raise the People. "I was in the backyard and it just came to me," Ing says. "I wrote it all in 15 minutes - lyrics and all - recorded it on my iPhone, then took it to the guys.

"We demoed it the next day at my house, on my Pro Tools set-up and that became the recording that was mixed."

He laughs: "Sometimes songs take forever and sometimes 15 minutes."

Most of the songs came quickly; it was polishing them in the studio that stretched the making of Raise the People to 18 months.

Ing reveals that Calling All Cars scrapped an entire album because it sounded like B-sides to Dancing with a Dead Man.

"We could've done that and, I guess, a lot of our older fans would've been happy with that," he says. "But at the same time, we've got to be happy too.

"Some of the songs are still pretty good. We may even use them in the future but we wanted to do something different this time and keep it fresh."

Calling All Cars recorded Raise the People with Steve Schram (San Cisco, Loon Lake, the Vasco Era) and British producer Mike Crossey (Foals, Arctic Monkeys) before Grammy Award-winning Tchad Blake mixed the eclectic batch of songs to a consistent final product.

The other important figure involved in making Raise the People was former Shihad drummer Tom Larkin, who recorded the demos and produced several tracks.

The Kiwi veteran shared some horror stories of Shihad's experiences overseas and had some timely advice for his friends.

"He's been there and done that, especially the Europe thing," Ing says.

"He's spent a lot of time over there and did it tough. They spent time with Faith No More through Europe, just sleeping on people's floors and couches.

"He's been brutally honest, saying it's going to be really tough and not to expect glamorous touring.

"We're ready for it. No one there has ever heard of us, so we're starting from scratch."

The West Australian

Popular videos

Compare & Save

Our Picks

Compare & Save

More from The West